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The Jewish Publication Auxiliary Society of Richmond.


It affords us great satisfaction in being able to lay before our readers the subjoined proceedings of a meeting of the Israelites of Richmond, held with reference to the formation of a society auxiliary to the proposed parent society at Philadelphia, for the purpose of fostering Jewish literature. In No. XI. of our last volume we sketched a plan of operations; and we are truly happy, that without any farther urging on the part of persons abroad, our friends in Richmond so readily responded to the call addressed alike to all American Israelites. We confidently expect to be able before long to announce the formation of the parent society, with auxiliaries in other cities besides Richmond. We believe that our people are at length awakening to the importance of their religious concerns, and hope that the spirit once aroused, it will not be suffered to fall soon again into a lethargic slumber. It is true, that it is but a small thing which we have proposed, and consequently it can be only a small thing which can be carried out in furtherance of the plan; but it may grow into something of far greater importance; and it may ultimately tend to diffuse light into every corner of the land, draw forth latent talent, and place us on an eminence, in regard to religious knowledge, which has hitherto not been reached by Israelites of modern times. Some one may think that we indulge in vain hopes, in speculations quite unwarranted by the premises; we confess we are somewhat enthusiastic; but without this species of enthusiasm nothing can ever be accomplished. The mariner puts his ship in safety against the coming storm when he only sees a cloud at the edge of the horizon not bigger than a man's hand; why then should we not prognosticate good from a single sign in the atmosphere of our destinies? All we ever needed to become a great people was union; and whatever tends to produce it is a step towards national greatness. And what is the national greatness we desire? Surely not one of political preeminence to us as Jews, but a high state of intellectual and moral worth, by which it may be shown that those who profess the Jewish religion are indeed a people every way deserving the esteem and good-will of all good men. On such an elevation Israelites can place themselves, if they only will do it, by union; and we hail then every sign which betokens that our scattered elements are approaching like the bone to the bone in “the valley of vision.” Should the publication society be firmly established, and progress prosperously, it will naturally produce a correspondence between the different congregations in which it is located, and thus a bond of kindliness may be in time engendered as may tend to develop yet farther the true brotherly love which ought to exist in Israel, and produce yet greater results for the common welfare, than the mere publication of books, though this in itself is an object of the highest importance.

What say our readers? do they agree with us in feelings and hopes? It depends upon every one to step forward to the goodly work; the little as well as the great are needed; they have all an equal interest. Let each then urge the other to do what has been done in Richmond, and unite as one man for common action. The individual outlay is exceedingly small indeed; the poorest man almost can spare what the occasion requires, and the rich can add liberal bounties to aid they good work forward to a speedy activity. And in places where there are too few individuals to form a separate society, they can at all events collect funds, and join the parent society, and become entitled to the publications which may be issued from time to time upon the reasonable terms proposed.

Whilst upon the subject, we beg leave to acknowledge the following donations to the funds of the proposed institution: From Miss Hendricks, of New York, ten dollars; from Mrs. William Florance, Mr. Hyman Gratz, Mr. A. Hart, Mr. Gratz Etting, Mr. Moses Nathans, Mr. I. J. Phillips, of Philadelphia, and Mr. G. Kursheedt, of New Orleans, five dollars each. In addition to which there have been received from sales of Caleb Asher and subscribes, to the present time, the amount of twenty-three dollars and fourteen cents; and we have subscriptions and donations, not yet received, at least twenty-five dollars more, so that the whole expense of the first number published is already covered. We hope in our next to be enabled to announce farther receipts, and that the committee may find themselves authorized by the state of the funds to proceed with other works. There are certainly, therefore, signs of success to encourage us to hope, and we confidently rely upon the aid of all Israelites to endeavour to contribute by their efforts, that our hopes may not be deceived. Ed. Oc.

Richmond, 28th Feb., 1845.

To the Rev. Isaac Leeser and A. Hart, Esq.


You have called attention to the plan of a society to be formed for the publication of works on the Jewish religion, and for other purposes, and it is perceived that it is intended to form a parent society at Philadelphia, with auxiliary societies in other cities of the United States. Approving this measure, the Israelites here have formed themselves into such an auxiliary society, and have adopted a constitution and by-laws for their government, a copy of which is hereby forwarded to you.


There are at present sixty-two subscribers, which number, it is confidently expected, will be increased. The following persons, viz.: Samuel H. Myers, Esq., President, Rev. Ellis Lyons, Vice President, Simon Rosenfeld, Corresponding Secretary, F. H. Lyon, Recording Secretary, Joseph Myers, and Jacob A. Levy, Joint Managers, compose the officers and Board of Managers.


So soon as official notice is received of the organization of the parent society, further information will with pleasure be imparted.


I remain, gentlemen, Yours, very respectfully, Simon Rosenfeld, Corresponding Secretary.


By order of the Board of Managers.


At a meeting of the Israelites of the city of Richmond, held on Monday, evening, the 24th February, 1845, they formed themselves into an association, and adopted for their government the following preamble, constitution, and by-laws.


Whereas, it is proposed to form a society, to be known as the “American Jewish Publication Society,” which is to hold for the present its meetings in the city of Philadelphia, until otherwise ordered, and such other auxiliary societies as may from time to time, be formed in the different cities of America, the object of which society is to reprint in a convenient form such books already in existence as may from time to time be approved of by the “Committee of Publication,” and to aid Jewish or gentile authors writing works of interest to Israelites to bring their respective publications before the public, without any risk or loss on their part, and, if possible, to grant them such compensation, according to the respective merits of their works, as the funds of the Society may admit of; and whereas we deem this object to be laudable in itself, and likely to afford facilities for the education of our youth, and properly to initiate them into the sublime truths of our holy religion, while to others of more advanced years it will open a pleasing source of moral improvement, and essentially tend to elevate the Jewish character; and whereas it is desirable that other societies be formed auxiliary to the parent Society, therefore,

Resolved, That we the undersigned do form ourselves into a Society to be auxiliary to the parent Society, to be known as the “Auxiliary American Jewish Publication Society of Virginia,” and to be governed by the following constitution and by-laws. (Signed by sixty-two persons.)


Constitution and By-Laws.



SECT. 1. The officers of this Association shall consist of a President, Vice President, Recording-Secretary, Corresponding Secretary, and Treasurer, who shall by ballot be annually elected.


SECT. 2. The above officers and two members, equally chosen by ballot, shall be the managers of this Society.




SECT. 1. The President shall preside at all meetings of this Society and of the Board of Managers; he shall see that the laws are duly observed, and that the officers discharge their duties.


SECT. 2. He shall preserve order and decorum in the meeting, and state all questions that are moved and seconded.


SECT. 3. He shall sign all orders upon the Treasurer for the payment of moneys; he shall have a casting vote only in all matters or questions on which the meeting may be divided equally; he shall have the power to convene special meetings of this Association and of the Board of Managers whenever he shall deem it necessary, or when any five members of this Association shall in writing require him to do so.




SECT. 1. In the absence of the President, the Vice President shall preside and perform all his duties and functions.




SECT. 1. The Corresponding Secretary’s duty shall be to take charge of all the correspondence of this Society.


SECT. 2. He shall lay all communications before the Boated of Managers for their direction; and answer such as he by them shall be instructed.

SECT. 3. He shall furnish each annual meeting with the report received from the Recording Secretary, and after it has been received and adopted by the Association, he shall send a copy of the same to the parent Society.




SECT. 1. The Recording Secretary shall keep an accurate account of the proceedings of the Association and of the Board of Managers, receive all moneys due the Association, and pay the same to the Treasurer, whose receipt he shall take for the same.


SECT. 2. He shall make an annual report of the number of members, and of funds received and paid by him, and furnish the same to the Corresponding Secretary.


SECT. 3. He shall notify the members of the time and place of the annual meetings, and of all called meetings.




SECT. 1. The Treasurer shall receive all moneys from the Recording Secretary, and give his receipt for the same.


SECT. 2. All moneys received by him shall be deposited in safe keeping, under the direction of the Board of Managers.


SECT. 3. He shall leave the accounts and vouchers ready for examination before the committee of accounts or finance at each annual meeting.




SECT. 1. This Association shall meet annually on the first Sunday in the month Adar.




SECT. 1. The Board of Managers shall hold semi-annual meetings on the first Sunday in the months of January and July, and any four members of said board may constitute a quorum for the transaction of business.




SECT. 1. Each male person, previously to their being enrolled as a member of this Society, shall be required to pay to the Recording Secretary the sum of one dollar and twenty-five cents, and sign the constitution and by-laws; and each member thus enrolled shall at each annual meeting thereafter pay to the said Recording Secretary the like sum of one dollar and twenty-five cents; and in case of the delinquency of any such payment for the space of three months after such enrolment, the name of such delinquent or delinquents shall, by the Secretary be reported to the Board of Managers, whose duty it shall be to notify such delinquent or delinquents that if immediate payment be not made by him or them, his or their name shall be stricken off the roll of members, and all benefits to which, as a member of this Society, he or they might or would be entitled shall thereupon cease.


SECT. 2. Out of each and every requisition of one dollar and twenty-five cents, the sum of one dollar is to be applied to the use of the parent Society, and the residue shall be reserved and applied exclusively to defraying the expenses of this auxiliary society.




SECT. 1. The President shall annually appoint three members as a standing committee of finance, whose duty it shall be to examine the Recording Secretary and Treasurer’s books, and report the result to the Society at its annual meetings.




SECT. 1. The constitution and by-laws of this Association shall not be altered or amended unless such alteration or amendment be proposed in writing, and assented to by two-thirds of the members present.